Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Feast: Memorial of St Anthony of Padua (13 June)

St Anthony of Padua is one of the saints I am probably named after. (The circumstances of my baptism were somewhat unusual; I didn't know which St Anthony is my namesake)

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, St Anthony lived an extraordinary life for such a short period of 36 years. He first joined the Augustinian Order and then left it and joined the Franciscan Order in 1221, inspired by the first Franciscan martyrs who died in Morocco, Africa. On the way to Morocco however, he fell seriously ill and was shipped back, first to Sicily, and then later to Padua. Some excerpt from

He is called the “hammer of the Heretics”. His great protection against their lies and deceits in the matter of Christian doctrine was to utter, simply and innocently, the Holy Name of Mary. When St. Anthony of Padua found he was preaching the true Gospel of the Catholic Church to heretics who would not listen to him, he then went out and preached it to the fishes. He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus, to whom He miraculously appeared, and is commonly referred to today as the "finder of lost articles." Upon exhumation, some 336 years after his death, his body was found to be corrupted, yet his tongue was totally incorrupt, so perfect were the teachings that had been formed upon it.

St Anthony was declared a saint less than a year after his death. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1946. His memorial is celebrated on June 13th.

St Anthony, pray for us, inspired by your example, that we may become as loving, humble, prayerful, faithful and zealous witness that you were.

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